Friday, 14 August 2009

Residential Permaculture Design Course

Coed Hills Rural Artspace
is hosting residential courses in Permaculture design from September 7 - 12 and September 14 - 19.

Coed Hills Rural Artspace is situated in the picturesque Vale of Glamorgan, just eight miles west of Cardiff and packed with ancient history and breathtaking beaches. Starting as an artists' community a little over 10 years ago, sustainability and permaculture have become central to the shape of the community and its plans for the future. The residents try to live as lightly on the Earth as is possible. Site facilities include compost toilets, a solar shower, biomass underfloor heating, and a wetland ecosystem sewage treatment system. They also have a 100 acre woodland, a full size stone circle, sawmill, forge, and a very active green wood workshop with steambox and shire horse Brigan, who is being trained to tow logs out of the forest.

Coed Hills hosts many events including solstice and equinox festivals, the Triban Gathering (, a monthly Temescal Sweatlodge, sustainable weddings and workshops. Now the Residential Permaculture Design Course will become part of this rich mixture of events.

Permaculture is a design system for creating sustainable human habitats. The aim is to create systems that are suistainable in the long run; ecologically sound and economically viable and which do not exploit or pollute. Permaculture is rooted in an understanding of how natural systems work and draws its principles and guidance from nature’s ecosystems. Permaculture gardening and farming is about creating a cultivated ecology which is designed to produce more human and animal food than is generally found in nature. Permaculture is an eclectic but integrated design strategy which draws on a range of philosophies and ideas both from traditional practice and cutting edge new technologies.

The course will enable you to understand how to create integrated systems using permaculture principles. Course topics include:

  • Permaculture ethics and principles
  • Observation of outside and inside influences
  • Spatial zoning
  • Forest gardening
  • Edible landscaping
  • Secrets of the soil
  • Integrated pest management
  • Appropriate and renewable energy technologies including micro-hydro
  • Alternative economic systems
  • Sustainable building techniques including straw bale and cob
  • Permaculture design briefs are done in small groups towards the end of the course

Lead tutor: Michele Fitzsimmons -

Guest lectures include:
  • Micro-hydro generation by Richard Drover
  • WET Wetland Ecosystem Treatment (as featured on The Archers) with “Tree-bog” Jay of Biologic design (
  • Forest Gardening, Grow Sheffield and the Abundance Project with Stephen Watts (see for more info)
  • An introduction to the Transition Town concept with Dinky Kennedy
  • Introduction to Beekeeping and its importance within the natural eco-system with Charly Le Marchant

PRICE £350 / £425 including all meals and camping.
To reserve your place please download this form and email it to

For any further information please call Charly Le Marchant on 01446 774084, 07768 881157 or email


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